DSW remains as strong and committed as ever towards ensuring that young people living in countries where we work have access to sexual and reproductive health and rights information, services, and supplies. However, we cannot escape the stark reality that COVID-19 infection rates are increasing on a daily basis across Africa. This will for sure have an impact on our country projects and global outreach, but we are responding rapidly so that our staff, project workers, youth champions, and communities, are properly informed and can operate safely. Our teams are drawing up emergency plans so that, despite temporary closures of our bureaus and Youth Empowerment Centers, we can continue our work with as minimal interruptions as possible. This, coupled with your support and confidence in our work, will ensure that we are reaching those that need us the most.
Specifically, we are responding to the crisis by:
Supporting our country offices and partners in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda with the creation of youth focused materials and infographics. This has also led to creation of specific social media friendly COVID-19 graphics to help spread awareness and actionable information on how to avoid infection. These are being shared in country, with links to official sites to avoid misinformation. We have also included these in a handy Zip file for you to download and share too. Feel free to change the layout according to your own corporate design (InDesign file included).
DSW is a family of seven offices, operating in six countries. To ensure a continuous flow of information between all teams, we are holding daily and weekly calls via Zoom, Skype, and WhatsApp. All project staff have been fully prepped and are equipped to work from home until this situation has ended.
Not everything can operate normally during these trying times. However, we are already discussing and enacting plans of action in anticipation of any potential disruptions to our projects. We are linking the prevention of COVID-19 to implications for SRHR – our main target. By remaining agile and focused, we are working hard to keep our promises made to those most in need.
For over 25 years, DSW has worked closely with partners from civil society, foundations, governments, and the private sector. To maintain full transparency, we are conducting regular check-ins with all trusted partners so they are fully updated and informed.
Thank you all again for your continued support and solidarity.
– Jan Kreutzberg, Executive Director, DSW.
As first step, we´re informing all external donors concerning implications to our projects during COVID-19 situation, and about the reality of working conditions in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Ethiopia. As a second step, we will be conducting various risk analyses, and I am looking forward to discussion programmatic alternatives with our beneficiaries and partners. Thanks to the considerable dedication from DSW’s staff, we are taking every actionable measure to ensure that our work remains as unaffected as possible so that we can continue reaching those that need us the most.
– Angela Bähr, Vice Executive Director, DSW.
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